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customs. There are “ribands, rosemary, and bay for the bridemen ;” and some one of the rustics may exclaim
“Look! and the wenches ha' not found 'un out,
And do parzent un' with a van of rosemary,
Like the father in Jonson's play, the yeoman of Shottery might say to his dame
“You'd have your daughters and maids Dance o'er the fields like fays to church :"
but he will not add
“I'll have no roundels."
He will not be reproached that he resolved
“To let no music go afore his child
To church, to cheer her heart up." +
On the other hand, there are no court ceremonials here to be seen,
“ As running at the ring, plays, masks, and tilting.” I
There would be the bride-cup and the wheaten garlands; the bride led by fair-haired boys, and the bridegroom following with his chosen neighbours :
“Glide by the banks of virgins then, and pass
While some repeat
While that others do divine
The procession enters the body of the church; for, after the Reformation, the knot was no longer tied, as, at the five weddings of the Wife of Bath, at “church-door.” The blessing is pronounced, the bride-cup is called for : the accustomed kiss is given to the bride. But neither custom is performed after the fashion of Petrucio :
“He calls for wine :- A health,' quoth he ; as if
* “ Tale of a Tub," Act I., Scene II. + “ Tale of a Tub," Act 11., Scene I. I "A New Way to Pay Old Debts,” Act IV., Scene III. f Herrick's "Hesperides.'
11 “ Taming of the Shrew," Act 111., Scene 11.
They drink out of the bride-cup with as much earnestness (however less the formality) as the great folks at the marriage of the Elector Palatine to the daughter of James I. :-“In conclusion, a joy pronounced by the King and Queen, and seconded with congratulation of the lords there present, which crowned with draughts of Ippocras out of a great golden bowl, as an health to the prosperity of the marriage, began by the Prince Palatine, and answered by the Princess.” *
We will not think that “when they come home from church then beginneth excess of eating and drinking ; and as much is wasted in one day as were sufficient for the two new-married folk half a year to live upon.” + The Dance follows the banquet :
“ Hark! hark! I hear the minstrels play." I
* Quoted in Reed's "Shakspeare," from Finet's “Philoxenis." † “ Christian State of Matrimony." "Taming of the Shrew,” Act III., Scene II.